Truckers say Strzelecki Track is becoming road of ruin
From abc.net.au, 13th January 2014
Truckers say the deteriorating surface of the Strzelecki Track in South Australia’s far north-east is taking a heavy toll on their vehicles and costing them tens of thousands of dollars every year.
Drivers say the 500 kilometre dirt road, which runs from Lyndhurst to the gas fields at Moomba, has seen a rise in the volume of traffic in recent times but works have not kept pace.
Road Transport Association executive director Steve Shearer says one driver was forced to fork out thousands after several journeys along it.
“After five movements, they spent over $60,000 repairing two trucks and that’s routine,” he said.
“That road destroys trucks. The corrugations are so big and so bad that they just shake trucks to pieces.”
Freight driver Tom McKay says he has noticed more trucks along the track.
“It’s just getting busier and busier with heavy traffic and it just needs a lot more money spent on it really,” he said.
State Liberal MP for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan says the track’s condition is so bad that Queensland businesses are having to service South Australian oil, gas and pastoral interests.
“The vast majority of it has got bulldust holes and is extremely rough and rocky. The road below the road surface has just disappeared,” he said.
“I spoke to truck drivers on the UHF radio who are travelling at 15 and 20 kilometres an hour and telling me they’ve been doing it for several hours because of the condition of the road.”
The South Australian Government says it recognises the track’s economic importance, with $4 million in Federal and State funds allocated for maintenance and upgrades during the past two financial years.
It says its future commitments are outlined in a plan currently out for consultation.
The Government says Mr van Holst Pellekaan should make a submission as the State Opposition is yet to do so.